Mary Burns and Alison McMahan Seminar on Making Book Trailers at HNS

The Historical Novel Society's Conference Starts this Friday in St. Petersburg. You can follow the conference on twitter, #HNS2013. 

It's a packed weekend of activity. If you are a fan of historicals, check out the works by authors that will be present; there is a blogroll of interviews listed here, and my blog on the conference is here.

I'm one of the presenters this year, and the interview with me is here. I'll be co-presenting with HNS Board Member Mary Burns (read my review of her latest book here).

Our workshop is entitled Book Trailers: From Powerpoint to Ipad apps, and meets on Saturday, June 22nd, from 8:15 to 9:45 am. Here is the workshop description:

Book trailers are great marketing tools and a fabulous addition to your book's webpage. Trailers spark discussions about your topic and draw readers to your site.  Book trailers can be expensive, but a short, simply designed book trailer is not hard to make, using the resources most writers already have.
We will start with some guidelines for a good trailer concept.  Bring a synopsis (no more than 250 words) of your book and if you are daring, your first draft of a book trailer script, and we will help you refine it in class.
Once you have a script we will walk you through the basics of finding free music and images and creating a powerpoint-slide show book trailer (there will be copious handouts).
For the more cinematically ambitious we will look at ways to make a live-action movie with an ipad, and how to use stop-motion, animation, and other effects with easy-to-find apps.

The Conference registration is now closed, but if you attend our panel and want to look at the sample trailers again, I'm putting links to them here.

Watermark by Vanitha Sankaran

An example of a book trailer that pulls out all the stops - almost a movie trailer. If you want a trailer like this, you will want to hire a professional filmmaker, (unless you happen to be one yourself). This is a great book, too, that tells the contrasting stories of the development of paper, which made knowledge and englightenment more accessible to the common person, and the spread of the Inquisition.

Vanitha is an HNS board member and will be at the conference.


Here is a trailer where the author sets herself up as a character in her own trailer. Mary Sharrat will be at the conference and will be on a panel on commercial versus literary fiction. Her new book is Illuminations, about Hildegarde von Bingen. You can read the interview with her here.

Here is a trailer produced by Blank Slate Press  for a book they've published called Slant of Light:

Mary Burns will be using a short version of her book trailer for Portraits of an Artist. You can see the full trailer here.  

For class purposes Mary will use a sample of her trailer:

She will also be showing this trailer she made for A Time To Cast Away Stones, by Elise Frances Miller.

Here is the first book trailer Tessa Dare ever made, using just her web camera and the toys in her children's room:


She made another one for Maya Banks:


Here's a trailer for a book I'm working on now, a young adult caper about a group of kids in 1977 looking for stolen moon rocks:

Here is the trailer for my just-finished book, The Road to Santiago. The line drawings are by Patis Lee. The "pencil effect" images I made using an iphone app called Cartoonomatic. The font is Vinque. I'm very grateful to Mary Burns for her great advice on this trailer.



How to Make a Book Trailer with Powerpoint.pdf836.83 KB